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Kristina Bajilo – Adult Candy

Adult Candy

With her first solo exhibition, Kristina Bajilo provocatively takes on the social role of a female artist flirting with the visual elements of popular culture. Her works are skillfully constructed traps that make the observer/consumer feel good about themselves – while their alluring colors evoke wellbeing, the choice of motifs that can be recognized, although mainly in fragments, reveals deep hidden tension. Like candies with medicine in them, Kristina Bajilo’s paintings attract us and appeal to us up to the moment when the sugary coat melts and the bitter medicine starts its action. In this way, our gaze sliding across the overlapping planes that reveal just enough – but not all – of the author’s intentions, we are faced with our own concealed urges, fears and weaknesses.
Juxtaposition and uncertainty are part of the painter’s erotic game in which the boundaries between pleasure and anxiety have been blurred. The source of tension is a critical stance towards the reality in which the values stemming from the prolific and intensely fertilized ground of popular culture are both claimed and rejected at the same time. Multitude and greed are the dark side of the coin that symbolizes the age of (material) plenitude and freedom of choice. Under such circumstances, art is transformed from a spiritual discipline into a mechanism for piling solutions intended for vanity, amusement and destruction. This is why the medium the author chooses is the traditional technique of oil on canvas. Special paintings on wood are a step further. Tangibility as a property of objectiveness is the consequence of contemplating the expendable nature even of art works. In this case, shapes become more explicit and easily accessible. A desire to conquer space and balance out the body of the painting with the body of the observer is clearly seen in the most recent works. It seems the goal is to make the observer as involved as possible, to invite them to join in, to take part in this artistic game of decoding the icons of consumerist society: “Here is your suitcase with money”; “Pick up you silicon beauty and take her home!”. “Bread and circuses” of the 21st century – the availability and ease of shopping – make this party irresistible. More passive, more hungry, more estranged, we turn petty pleasures into daily acts of courage.